Analysis

Tired after a long shift – but driving home anyway?

What our survey reveals about the risks faced by nurses, particularly after night shifts
A nurse yawning in the front seat of a car. Driving while tired is a common risk for nurses on long late shifts. Picture: Neil O'Connor

What our survey reveals about the risks faced by nurses, particularly after night shifts

  • A quarter of respondents to a Nursing Standard survey say they have had an accident or near-miss after a tiring shift
  • While many nurses say they prefer 12-hour shifts, limited access to rest areas and breaks contribute to safety concerns
  • Naps during breaks are being seens as a ‘safety intervention’ at some trusts

As many as one in four nurses have had a car accident or near-miss when driving home tired after a shift, a Nursing Standard survey suggests.

Nurses described falling asleep at the wheel during the journey, with one revealing: ‘I crashed into a tree and rolled my car on [the] way home from a night

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